Parents Implored to Take Advantage of President Museveni’s Skilling Initiative to Enable Their Children Acquire Free Vocational Skills

Parents have been implored to take advantage of the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy Child (PISGBC) project by registering their children in the program so that they are equipped with free vocational skills. 

The request was made on 29th May, 2024 by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Chairperson for Makindye Division, Mr.  Hussein Lukyamuziwho was the guest of honour at the showcasing function of products made by students of WabigaloSkilling Centre in Makindye Division. 

“Parents in the country, you should send your children to the skilling centres and grab the opportunity the President has offered to us free of charge where the youth are given hands-on-skills. Once you acquire these skills you create employment for yourself and for others,” he said. 

This showcasing program that kicked-off on Tuesday 28th May, 2024 at Luzira Skilling Centre also acted as an evaluation for students who are soon to sit their final exams in the departments of electronics, shoe making, electrical installation, plumbing, building and construction, carpentry, joinery, welding and motor vehicle mechanics. 

Mr. Lukyamuzi praised President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for helping the youths by offering them a lifetime opportunity. 

“It is a very good stride ahead and a very good initiative. Thank you, President Yoweri Museveni, for skilling the nation, thank you very much,” he said.

Mr.  Lukyamuzi, who is also a farmer and a veterinary practitioner, also offered employment to some of the students of the plumbing class on his coffee plantation farm in Masulita to install an irrigation system.

The Senior Presidential Assistant on Education and Skilling who also serves as the head of PISGBC project, Dr. Faith Katana described the WabigaloSkilling Centre as a special one because in the areas of Makindye and Namuwongo, most of those enrolled couldn’t even read their names. 

She observed that at first, it was only boys who were admitted but later, girls were also incorporated in the Skilling centre. 

“That proves that for talents and the use of hands you don’t need a certificate to join a Skilling Centre. The requirement only needs a letter from the LC1 Chairman of the area who knows his residents well,” she pointed out.

Dr. Katana also clarified that the 9 centres in the five divisions of Kampala are meant for only residents of the city, not students from upcountry. She added that upcountry districts have been catered for by the Presidential Industrial Hubs established regionally. 

“The Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy child is strictly Kampala based.LC1 Chairpersons should not recommend children from Gulu, Mbarara, Tororo or any other upcountry district. The President has established Industrial Hubs for them, so LC’s don’t compromise yourselves,” she directed. 

Dr. Katana was also marveled by the creativity of the students at the Centre who recycle old motor vehicle tyres into artistic pieces which are used for holding flowers and also as decorations. 

“Such tyres were being burned on the streets during senseless riots thereby damaging our tarmac roads,” she noted.

On the other hand, Dr. Katana reiterated her call to those alleging that the State House spends a lot of money to stop peddling lies about its budget. 

She explained that State House spends shs 4 million on each student for the 6 months of Skilling and enrols 6,000 students each semester. 

Dr. Katana further disclosed that 99% of the training is practicals and material has to be bought in order to give the students free education. 

She however commended the Administrator of Wabigalo Skilling Centre, Mr. Nkwanga David and Instructors for changing the face of the Centre. She also thanked Dr. Grace Bikumbi and all the counsellors for the job well done.

Dr. Bikumbi is a clinical psychologist, addiction specialist and rehabilitation expert of ghetto people.

“The main component is rehabilitation. It’s important to rehabilitate them before skilling because you cannot train someone who is high on drugs,” Dr. Bikumbi noted.

The Deputy Resident City Commissioner for Makindye Division, Mr. Mac Baingana said he was extremely impressed by the products showcased by Wabigalo students, describing it as a heart- touching program. 

“That will go a long way in reducing and eventually eliminating criminality in the community,” he noted.

Mr. Baingana who commended the President for the project also urged students to embrace humility once in the field and to treat their customers with respect. 

“The President has so many programs. In the first place infrastructure development, UPE and USE, among others but he said no I want to save my children from destruction by providing them with livelihood skills,” the  Deputy RCC noted.

Some of the beneficiaries of the skilling program include Ssekamate Kevin from Mbuga village in Makindye Division who acquired skills in plumbing. 

He noted that the challenge that is apparent is that of mindset change. 

“You can go for a degree but what you do with your hands is what puts food on the table. So, I call on all the youth to engage in hands-on-skill training that is useful for lifetime,” he said. 

Another beneficiary is Julius Serwada. 

He said, “I am not the same person I was before I came here. After 6 months I am now confident that poverty is history to me. I am buying small tools and material for making shoes, key holders and bags. I advise my fellow youth to abandon activities that don’t benefit them like useless riots and thuggery.”